Good church musicians are a rare breed these days, and so St. Mark's was very fortunate a few years ago when Sam Lam came out of retirement to be our regular organist. Every Sunday we have enjoyed his great talent, and his improvisation skills have been a particular blessing for our liturgies at St. Mark's. One of my favorite moments occurs each Sunday at the offertory of high mass when Sam begins to improvise as the altar and people are censed. He is so masterful in his support of the liturgy, and he has been a real blessing to the congregation and the choir through his music.
This being said, we have come to another transition season for our music program, as Sam's last Sunday as our organist will be Sunday, September 25. In honor of Sam, there will be a special Aloha Hour after high mass to celebrate his time among us. I hope that many people can join us, and thank Sam for the wonderful work he has done among us. Sam has related to me how much he has enjoyed getting to know the parishioners of St. Mark's. I have told Sam that he is now a part of our parish family, and that St. Mark's can certainly continue to be his church home. What was to originally be a temporary fix to St. Mark's organist vacancy has become a longer appointment. Sam has really helped us out immensely.
So what happens next? Beginning in October, we will welcome Steven Severin to the organ bench. Steven was our organist this past July, and he will be covering the Sunday services beginning in October. As we experienced in July, Steven is also a very good musician, and so St. Mark's continues to be blessed as the organ bench is transferred from Sam to Steven. (More about Steven will be shared in future weeks with the parish.)
Music has always been a very important ministry at St. Mark's, and our church is known for our quality music program with gifted musicians. I hope you can join me in thanking Sam Lam for his ministry among us. He has continually gone over and above the call of duty, and for that I am truly thankful.
Father Paul Lillie+